Neflix’s innovative European tour initiative sets the streaming service as location savvy
From 11 to 17 July 2022, Netflix encouraged audiences to go beyond their screens and see the sights themselves. Launching a new summer tour experience on 16 June 2022, the streaming service offered their audiences the opportunity to walk in the shoes of their favourite characters. Partnering with Sandeman’s New Europe tour company, fans were able to visit the locations of shows like Emily in Paris, Elite, and Bridgerton.
Netflix stated in June that “This summer it’s time to put down your tv remote and pick up your passport,” as they announced their European walking tours. Pinning London, Madrid and Paris for their destination choices, the streaming service has given a new perspective to the immersive experience. Embarking on two-hour-long free guided tours, travellers were taught about the production processes behind the shows, the history of cinema in their respective locations, all the while soaking in the landmarks and cultures of the cities. Also, by offering flight packages in collaboration with RyanAir, and merging the visual industry with tourism, Netflix are evidently transcending the status-quo of the streaming service.
Heavy location-based productions such as Money Heist, Top Boy, and upcoming French series Notre-Dame la part du feu, utilise their filmed locations in a way that establish the cityscapes as characters themselves. Integral to the reception of the narrative, the choice of location is a critical decision that is made in the filming process. Netflix’s acknowledgement of this, by offering their summer tourist experience, shows the company’s intentions of becoming a brand involved in all facets of the visual industry, from production, travel, distribution, and advertising.
Along with their recent Microsoft partnership, and the announcement of a new ad-supported subscription option, Netflix’s branch into tourism shows the efforts being made to regain their strength after a significant subscriber loss over the past few months. After losing one million subscribers between April and July 2022 alone, Netflix’s expansion into the travel sector offers a more tangible alternative for their audiences to experience their shows, as well as working with the local film organisations of the respective countries to encourage local and international production.
Following the pandemic, whilst some countries swiftly regained production flow, others did not experience such a speedy recovery. Netflix's keen interest in working with local talent of the film and television industry was a helpful contribution to gaining back attention. Programmes such as Grow Creative UK, support the training of those entering the industry, strengthening the workforce and establishing solidified local production teams.
Despite the drastic 2022 plummet in share prices and subscribers, could Netflix's new business model pivot contribute to their recovery? As the streaming service continues with their initiatives, a spotlight is shone on global locations, creating a knock-on effect for local tourism. Is it possible that this can result in government's paying Netflix all production costs? Along with their involvement in the marketing space, will multidimensional involvement in the visual industry be the streamer's fool-proof business model of the future?
Images courtesy of Netflix
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